iPad Giving Stations: Increase Your Congregation’s Engagement in Giving

Center for Stewardship Leaders Connect with God

I was recently reading through a congregation’s annual report (hey, I’m a seminary professor, what else do we do for fun?) and I noted the report broke down five different methods of giving: electronic, giving kiosk, plate offerings, non-cash stock gifts, and “bill pay” automatic checks. Twenty years ago, only a few of these existed at all. Today, there’s even …

Enough

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community, Practice Justice

How does your church measure “enough?” Does the yardstick look different depending on who’s using it? The challenge with measures is we can sometimes miss the forest for the trees. When we do so, we end up making idols of numbers, measures, and data. In today’s post, Natalie Hall reflects on an experience of measuring in her own life — …

Why Pastors Need the Finance Committee — and Vice Versa

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community, Practice Justice

I sometimes joke with students that “committee meetings” rarely come up in call stories. Further, most of our students at Luther don’t discern a call to Christian public leadership because of their love for finances and accounting. For these reasons, they might indeed hope to avoid attending Finance Committee meetings in their future calls. I’m grateful, therefore, that Rev. Angela …

Drainage, Debt, and the Rain of God

Center for Stewardship Leaders Connect with God, Practice Justice, Shift Ministry Models

For some churches, “debt” is a four-letter word. (Well, technically, it’s a four-letter word for all of us, but I hope you take the point.) Church leaders tend to avoid needed maintenance issues for fear of the challenge of raising money, or the possibility of taking on debt. Pastor Bradley Schmeling’s post reveals how one congregation became a steward of …

How to Give? However You Can

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community

Before our July 4 recess, Rev. Dr. Katie Hays shared why people in her new congregation, Galileo Church, give. This week, Katie explains how they give. I love the image of offering baskets filling up with the multi-colored cards described below. “Everybody has something to give,” they say often at Galileo Church. Amen! I’m also impressed by the number of …

Why Give? Because Jesus Gave Us Work To Do

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community, Tell the Story

A church that throws parties, enters floats in parades, and shows up at community festivals? These are all aspects of the work Rev. Dr. Katie Hays supports as lead evangelist in her new congregation, Galileo Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. In today’s post, Hays describes how reading scripture with an eye for Jesus’ penchant for announcing the reign …

Tell the Old, Old Story

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community

Stories matter. They certainly matter because of what they tell us about the past. Stories also matter, though, because by telling them in the present we come to understand a bit about who we are now. “We owe it to each other to tell stories,” author Neil Gaiman once said. In today’s newsletter, Pastor Bonnie Wilcox reflects on stewardship stories, …

The Power of Vulnerability to Transform Stewardship

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community

These days, it’s not unusual for preachers to stand on the level of a congregation and use a music stand for their sermon notes. But in days gone by, before microphones and screens, it was common to place pulpits high above the congregation. Preachers had to walk up separate flights as they climbed up into the pulpit, towering above their …

The Top 10 Mistakes I’ve Made with Money in Ministry – Part 2

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community

Last week, Ryan Baer shared half of his Top 10 mistakes related to money and ministry. Well, we’ve had a full weeklong “dramatic pause” before delivering the second half. Finally, the completion of his list is below. I’m grateful for Ryan’s wise leadership, and his willingness to share how he’s learned from his mistakes. It’s a helpful reminder that our …

The Top 10 Mistakes I’ve Made with Money in Ministry – Part 1

Center for Stewardship Leaders Cultivate Community

I’m all too aware that seminary professors can become disconnected from the day in, day out, affairs of ministry. While there’s probably something helpful to some notion of an academic “ivory tower,” a place set apart for faculty to think new thoughts, we mustn’t get stuck there. In this week’s newsletter we hear from a pastor who has learned much …

Pulling Teeth: Craig Barnes on Preaching Stewardship

Center for Stewardship Leaders Connect with God

Many pastors put off preaching on topics related to stewardship until an annual fall stewardship campaign. I hope our series on preaching and stewardship has surfaced several welcome entry points for addressing the topic more regularly. This week, Justin Lind-Ayres completes the series with his wise — and entertaining — reflection on the Working Preaching video preaching moment, “Craig Barnes …

Yvette Flunder on Preaching Stewardship

Center for Stewardship Leaders Shift Ministry Models

Today, we continue our series on Preaching and Stewardship in partnership with Working Preacher from Luther Seminary. This week’s video is from Yvette Flunder, senior bishop of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California.  Yours truly, Adam Copeland, Director, Center for Stewardship Leaders Yvette Flunder on Preaching Stewardship By Adam Copeland Stuff. When I think of …

Adam Hamilton on Preaching Stewardship

Center for Stewardship Leaders Connect with God

Today’s newsletter marks the launch of a series on Preaching and Stewardship in partnership with Working Preacher from Luther Seminary. For the next three weeks the email newsletter will also contain a short video, followed by some reflections.  Today, the preaching moment video features Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor of the 20,000 member Church of the Resurrection near Kansas City, Kansas. …